This is by no means a full review, more a first impression.
It looks just like 8.1 until you cast your eyes to the top right of the screenshot. Two of the complaints were:
- Lack of a search box
- Lack of an easy to find shutdown button
Both of these points have been addressed in the most literal way that Microsoft could muster
The second lot of points, again two, was:
- Lack of a means to minimize a window
- Lack of a means to terminate a window.
Again, in literal style, Microsoft have addressed both issues. There is a new task bar which you can set ‘on top’ or ‘hidden’ which includes the familiar dash and cross, minimize and close respectively. These features, combined with the south facing arrow at the bottom left of the screenshot constitute the Windows 8.1 Update start menu.
In fairness to Microsoft, they have added exactly what most people said was missing.
“It’s not the start button because we have all our program icons on the desktop (just like Windows 8). It’s just that we don’t know how to shut anything down”
Well, you’ve got the ‘means’ to do all of these things now. You should be happy now, especially if you like the content of the tiles.
For me, it is the content of the tiles which lets the show down, which is why I will continue to run Srart8. I like quick access to stuff which is useful to me, and none of those are particularly easy to find if you open the tile version of the program listing. All I see is a huge army of 128 small icons instead of the neat 20 icon Quick Launch bar and 12 icons on the start menu that I have.
There is also the issue of keeping multiple windows open and in view on a largish monitor, something which Windows 8 can’t do in a usable format.
For those of you who like Windows 8 but have struggled with the four points above, you have a far better deal if you accept that update..